a fire under them, if you will. the events he's been holding are different than the rallies he held as a candidate. >> reporter: well, certainly john and kiran. we see a lot of these pointed moments where he's with these small, backyard groups. we saw one guy who said his father was a veteran who wasn't getting proper care, broke down. the president hugged him. really the big moment yesterday, however, was that huge rally. they're trying to reenergize the base and really a lot of the young people. there were about 26,000 with the missions together. i mean, they become your family but this is whenever you need to get away. just you and your movie or something. >> reporter: i wonder if you get to the point where as much as you love each other, do you get to the point sometimes where you just want to throttle someone? >> yes. >> that's what the cave is for. that is what the cave is for. whenever you feel like ring their neck, calm yourself down. >> ready to check. >> reporter: shorter says personal reminders of home keep him going emotionally and flowover crowd that were there at the university yesterday. i had a chance to talk to a number of students who said, look, yeah, we're excited about this. but it wasn't the wild enthusiasm that you saw from two years ago of the campaign. the president acknowledged as much saying, look, these are not the days where you had beyonce or bono coming out and participating in those obama events. but he said, nevertheless, be patient with my agenda. we need you to come out five weeks from now for the midterm elections, that it is a critical time to get involved. here's what the president said. mentally. today, letters from his family. >> it says from my wife, my dearest randy, please know how much i love you, support you and truly appreciate all that you do. please be that great leader again. lead your men and yourselves out of harm's way and back home to our loving arms. your wife, your daughter, sheryl. >> those letters so important to soldiers like randy shorter. you know, we were out with them on night patrols, day patrols.